Legislator Profile

Legislator Profile: Scott Stone and Andy Dulin (R-Mecklenburg)

In the next two installments of Real Facts NC's series of legislator profiles we focus on Charlotte-area representatives Scott Stone and Andy Dulin. 

Stone was appointed to the District 105 seat by former Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term after winning the election in November. Before serving in the NC House, Stone had tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics: he ran for the Arlington County Board in 1996 and ran for Charlotte mayor in 2011 and 2015. Rep. Scott Stone did not think the NCGA should change HB2 until Charlotte changed its own ordinance, even though HB2 cost Charlotte at least $100 million and he opposed all parts of Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinance, including protection for LGBT community. Stone claims he is concerned about education, but supported a Republican budget that shortchanges NC teachers and students. Read more on Stone here

Similarly, Dulin was elected to the District 104 seat in 2016 and is currently serving his first full term. Before serving in the NC House, Dulin tried and failed at least three times to enter the world of politics outside the Charlotte City Council. He ran for the Mecklenburg County Commission in 2004, ran for NC Senate in the 2008 primary, and Congress in 2012. Dulin is an out-of-touch member of Charlotte’s elite, putting his own advancement above the will of constituents and pushing the needs of corporations over students and teachers. Additionally, Dulin supported a measure that would make nondiscrimination ordinances subject to referendum less than a year after HB2 cost Charlotte millions. Read more on Dulin here

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Stephen Ross (R-Alamance)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at Representative Stephen Ross, who has represented Alamance County in the North Carolina House since 2013. Ross is currently the Deputy Majority Leader of the Republican House Caucus. Ross previously served as Mayor of Burlington and on the Burlington City Council. As a Vice President and an Investment Officer for Wells Fargo, Ross has used his three terms in the House to put the interests of banks, predatory lenders, and developers above North Carolina families. Ross has voted for measures that enhance the profits of predatory consumer finance companies and trap low-income people in a cycle of debt. In his 2012 campaign, Ross called for major regulatory reform to make the state competitive; however, he has instead made North Carolina competitive for his special interest donors and those who seek to prey on the most vulnerable. Read the full profile here.

We need comprehensive tax reform along with major regulatory reform to become competitive again.” – Stephen Ross

Summary

  • Stephen Ross is a Vice President and Investment Officer with Wells Fargo and has received at least $25,500 in PAC money from the financial services industry since 2012.
  • Amid an uncertain economic recovery in 2013, Stephen Ross voted to enhance the profits of predatory consumer finance companies as they further trapped low-income people in debt.
  • Stephen Ross voted for a bill that helps companies sell high-interest rate consumer loans, even after multiple warnings about these lenders to consumers from the Attorney General’s office.
  • Stephen Ross voted for a bill that eliminated a formal track for homeowners to protest development in their communities.
  • In 2013, 14,955 tax filers in Alamance county claimed the state Earned Income Tax Credit, which lawmakers allowed to expire that year. The tax credit went to people that worked but earned low wages, and the benefits totaled $1,668,976 in the county.
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Linda Hunt Williams (R-Wake)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. This time we look at freshman Representative Linda Hunt Williams, going back to her days as a school choice advocate in Charlotte and as Deputy Director of Citizens for a Sound Economy. Williams was an early advocate for private school vouchers, spending state money to send kids to private schools. She was also an original “tea partier” advocating for less government and fewer taxes while working for the Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy. Read the full profile here.

Summary:

Williams has always been a proponent of charter schools and vouchers, but voted to weaken N.C. public schools

  • She promised to improve schools if elected, but instead sponsored a bill that even NACSA, a national charter school advocacy group, advised against. 
  • H779 would allow charter schools to grow by 30 percent before changing their charter, would allow students enrolled in any NC charter school to receive priority enrollment at another charter school, would disaggregate performance data, and would allow charter schools to operate Pre-K programs with state funds.
  • Williams voted for the 2017 Republican budget that shortchanged teachers and allocated $45 million to the controversial school voucher program, despite promises to improve education as a member of the General Assembly.

 Williams got her political start with U.S. Senator Lauch Faircloth, and later moved to Koch-funded N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy

  • Williams has a history of advocating for conservative causes and was an original “tea partier” who organized Koch-funded protests at the NC General Assembly demanding fewer taxes and less government
  • Williams was the Deputy Director of N.C. Citizens for a Sound Economy between 2001 and 2002. During that time, the group unsuccessfully sued Gov. Mike Easley, faced criticism for lobbying for dropping antitrust action against Microsoft after accepting contributions from Microsoft, and protested at the General Assembly.
  • Williams’ support of the 2017 Republican budget highlights the hypocrisy of these groups. The budget cut taxes for corporations, but failed to re-establish the childcare income tax credit that would have helped over 200,000 families.
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Ken Goodman (D-Hoke, Montgomery, Richmond, Robeson & Scotland)

Real Facts NC’s legislator profile series continues to examine key North Carolina legislators. Despite high unemployment and poverty in his district, Goodman supported policies that favored corporations over teachers, students and families. The 2017 budget lowered the corporate income tax rate, but failed to help low-income North Carolinians with things like a child care tax credit. Instead, tax cuts were prioritized over funding public schools and pre-K. Goodman has a history of votes that hurt education, helping Republicans erode teacher pay and per pupil spending in the state. While people in his district struggle to make ends meet, Goodman votes in favor of big corporations, not “main street.” Read the full profile here

"I voted conservative, and I'm pretty happy about that." -Rep. Ken Goodman

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: William Brisson (D-Bladen, Johnston, Sampson)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at William Brisson, who has represented House District 22 since 2006. Rep. Brisson is the current vice-chairman of four House standing committees, including Agriculture and Appropriations. Brisson claims that he wants to protect and help those who cannot do so themselves, but his record tells a different story. Brisson has consistently voted to makes things worse for folks in his district, from cuts to education to ending tax credits for working families making less than $40,000 per year. Read the full report here.

In 2013, Brisson said, “It has been about the people and will always be about the people with me.” Despite Brisson’s assertion that it is about the people, his time in Raleigh has proven otherwise.

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Michael Wray (D-Halifax and Northampton)

In a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at Representative Michael Wray, who has represented Northeastern North Carolina since 2005. Wray has held several leadership positions within the House Democratic Caucus including Deputy Democratic Leader. As a legislator, Wray has touted his experience as a small business owner and as someone who fights for working families. In 2014, Wray said, “I have a record of leadership, accountability and responsibility to the people I serve and the people who elect me.” However, despite Wray’s assertions about his record, he has used his time in office to get ahead, while the people he represents have fallen further behind in a changing economy. Read the full profile here

Between July 2011 and June 2013, Michael Wray bought fuel 427 times, spending $28,000, enough to travel over 100,000 miles. Wray could have traveled the length of North Carolina 178 times. 
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North Carolina Legislator Profile: John Szoka (R-Cumberland)

This week Real Facts examines Representative John Szoka, an Ohio-born member of the Cumberland delegation to the NC House. Rep. Szoka is currently in his third term representing House District 45. Szoka is the Senior Chairman of the Energy and Public Utilities Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the Elections and Ethics Law Committee, the House Select Committee on Redistricting, and the House Rules Committee. Throughout his time at the General Assembly, Szoka has proven that he does not care about protecting working families. While working for a company that was sued for its predatory loan lending practices, Szoka has voted for multiple bills that directly target working and struggling North Carolinians. Read the full profile here.

 “There’s a larger percentage of people who work for government than work in healthcare, work in sales, work in manufacturing, or work in agriculture and that alone should tell you that there’s something wrong.” – John Szoka, currently serving his third term working for the government 

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Representative John Blust (R-Guilford)

In this installment of the legislator profile series, Real Facts NC examines Representative John Blust, a member of the Guilford delegation serving nearly 20 years in the NC House and Senate. Often, Blust tries to portray himself as a political maverick but has found it difficult to stand up when it really counts. View the full profile here.

22.6 percent of Guilford County residents have been represented by John Blust for their entire lives. 

Rep. John Blust, rebel without a clue:

  • Blust voted against the best interests of his district by voting for disastrous HB2
    • HB2 cost Greensboro $23.5 million in losses of championships and conventions alone and nearly lost Greensboro NCAA and ACC tournaments until 2022, which would have cost another $118 million.
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North Carolina legislator profile: Representative Tim Moore (R – Cleveland)

In the second in a series of Real Facts NC reports examining key North Carolina legislators, we look at the Speaker of the House, Tim Moore.

Moore has represented Cleveland County since 2003 and became Speaker of the House in 2015.

After being named Speaker, Moore said, "I am committed to improving North Carolina through greater economic opportunity, less burdensome regulations and a new vision for educating and equipping our students.”

Below, read a summary of how Tim Moore has only succeeded in creating greater economic opportunity for himself, his friends, and donors, while his constituents in Cleveland County fall further behind. Read the full report here.

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North Carolina legislator profile: Senator Phil Berger (R – Rockingham)

Over the next several months Real Facts NC will release a series of reports on key North Carolina legislators and how their work impacts the people in their districts. In the first of the series we’ll take a look at the man claimed by many to be the most powerful individual in state government, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.

Berger has represented Rockingham County since 2001 and became minority leader in 2004 and Senate President Pro Tem, the leader of the Senate, in 2011. While Berger has succeeded in Raleigh enacting his conservative agenda, Rockingham county has seen more than its fair share of setbacks in recent years. 

Read below a summary of how while Phil Berger has gotten ahead in Raleigh, Rockingham has fallen behind. Find the full report: here.

(Dwane Powell, The News & Observer)

 

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